A day after getting renewed backing from the European Union, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. today received expressions of support from a ranking Japanese lawmaker for the Philippines’ development initiatives particularly in agriculture, infrastructure, defense and security, as well as the Mindanao peace process.
“Regarding the agriculture, we see — it is important and also the digital relation. Also, agriculture infrastructure is also very important,” said Moriyama Hiroshi, the chairman of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League (JPPFL), during his meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“We’d also like to see government-to-government (G2G) cooperation on strengthening the defense industry, which is a priority. That’s why regarding the OSA, Official Security Assistance, the Philippines is one of the first candidate countries for OSA,” he said.
Moriyama also said Japan is pleased to see the Philippines’ achievement on defense, particularly the implementation of joint training in the past months.
During the meeting, President Marcos said having a strong agricultural sector has been a key priority of his administration to ensure food security and transform the economy.
“It is something that we feel is important, not only for the survival of our populace, the food supply of our populace, but also it is necessary…..if the rest of our industrialization can continue, if the rest of our digitalization can continue, it must be based on a strong foundation of agriculture sector,” the President said.
“In this regard, certainly Japan has been a very strong partner of the Philippines, in terms of transfer of technology, in terms of support that has been given by Japan to Filipino farmers and the Philippines’ agricultural sector.”
When it comes to infrastructure and agricultural development, Marcos said Japan has been the country’s partner for years through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assistance, as well as loans and financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Japan has been a key factor in the Philippines’ successful infrastructure program, Marcos said, noting that the Philippines and its partners could reap benefits from several arrangements such as public-private partnership (PPPs), and G2G partnerships, and even joint ventures.
With regard to defense and security arrangements with Japan, Marcos said Manila and Tokyo once again have entered therein bilaterally.
“The support that we are receiving from Japan in this regard, in terms of our equipment, in terms of our interoperability operations, are valuable, I think, for both our countries and I believe that we should strengthen that. We should continue that and continue to be in partnership as we face the different, the volatile situation that we have in our region,” Marcos said.
“The trilateral agreement that we have with the United States is going to certainly be another very important step forward as we did hope to guarantee the peace and safety of the shipping lanes, especially, and also our territorial rights and our sovereignty.”
The JPPFL is a parliamentary friendship association composed of members of the Japanese Diet across party lines.
Formed in 1986 to advance legislative initiatives that promote positive engagement between the Philippines and Japan, JPPFL also leads Japan’s cultivation of inter-parliamentary relations with Philippine Congress.
The JPPFL has been instrumental in maintaining and sustaining Japanese development and technical assistance to the Philippines.
The Philippines-Japan Parliamentarian Association (PJPA) was established in 1987 following the JPPFL’s visit to the Philippines. PND